Puducherry: The outbreak of coronavirus in the country has resulted in an unexpected shift in the pattern of higher education system. By the second week of March, Pondicherry University paused its academic functioning as well as extra-curricular activities, following the instructions from Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
Considering the complaints from students about accessibility of internet, the university and MHRD have released a statement that facilitates special classes for students who cannot attend online classes. Apart from academics, the student community in PU is now actively engaging in virtual political and social protests, gaming, online competitions like photography contest, poetry fest, bottle art competition and much more.
Student organisations in the university like Fraternity Movement, Students Federation of India, National Students Union of India (NSUI) are coming forward with new innovative and creative ideas to keep students active on the virtual space. Students and scholars have created social media groups with an intention to feel as if they are in university premises.
Apart from online competition, there are live musical sessions and talks organized by Students Federation of India's PU unit. Musicians Fayiz Muhammed and Orchon Bhattacharya recently gave colours to a live melodious FB night.
SFI PU has also organized a live talk by Dr T Sundararaman, renowned health specialist and former professor and dean at TISS Mumbai on the topic 'State of public healthcare system in India: Competence as the pandemic accelerates.' The live talk was conducted via Facebook. Students actively interacted with the doctor.
"Since the lock down was announced, students were under academic and quarantine stress. Many students complained of mental disturbances so we decided to keep them engaged with the limited opportunities at hand," Abhijeet Sudhakaran, SFI PU unit secretary told Onmanorama campus reporter
Meanwhile, university's Kannan Dasan Football Club (KDFC) organized online Pes, Ludo, and PubG competitions to engage students on gaming platforms during quarantine period.